Roman Forum Summer Symposium

2010 Summer Symposium, Gardone Riviera, Italy

Honoring the 100th Anniversary of Notre Charge Apostolique  (August 15, 1910)
Letter of Pope St. Pius X to the Bishops of France on the Sillon

Dates: July 1st-July 12th (11 nights)

The Politics of Faith and Reason? Or the Triumph of the Will?

A basic either-or choice seems more and more to be forced upon contemporary Catholics. Either they accept as somehow written into the nature of things the dominant pluralist political, social and economic system, or they reaffirm their loyalty to a classical and Christian vision of man and society that clashes profoundly with it. What are the origins of that system? In what ways do classical and Christian political, social, and economic concepts contradict it? How is it that many believers have been falsely convinced that the pluralist system fulfills the Catholic vision? What can be done to drive home the truth that pluralism is an attack on both Faith and Reason and a recipe for the triumph of the will in public and private life? These are the themes to be developed by the Roman Forum faculty at the 2010 Summer Symposium.

Faculty, Clergy, Musicians

  • Dale Ahlquist  (President, American Chesterton Society)
  • Dr. Miguel Ayuso-Torres (University of Madrid)
  • Rev. Mgr. Dr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carmbula  (Human Life International)
  • James Bogle, Esq. (Author, A Heart for Europe)
  • Dr. Jeffery Bond (Lecturer in Philosophy, Politics, and Literature) Dr. Danilo Castellano (University of Udine) Joshua Copeland (Chorister) Rev. Bernard Danber, O.S.A.
  • Christopher A. Ferrara, J.D. (President, ACLA)
  • David J. Hughes (Musical Director)
  • James Kalb, Esq. (Author, The Tyranny of Liberalism)
  • Michael J. Matt (Editor, The Remnant) Dr. Brian M. McCall (University of Oklahoma)
  • Professor John Mdaille (University of Dallas)
  • Dr. Robert Moynihan (Editor, Inside the Vatican)
  • Rev. Dr. Richard Munkelt  (University of Fairfield) Rev. Gregory Pendergraft, F.S.S.P.
  • Dr. John C. Rao (St. Johns University)
  • Rev. Richard Trezza, O.F.M.

(Plus other speakers from the US and Europe, to be announced)

Daily Program

Each day involves three lectures (morning and pre-dinner), and Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Rite (Tridentine Mass) at noon. There are no lectures on Sundays. Musical and theatrical entertainments take place in the garden of the Angeli in the evenings after dinner.


The full cost of the Gardone program in a double occupancy room is 2,000 Euros. This includes: tuition, room and board (very ample breakfast and dinner with wine, beer, and other beverages at will; all gratuities also); transportation to and from Malpensa Airport in Milan; a boat trip on Lake Garda; and excursions to Venice and in the Lake region. A number of full and partial scholarships are available.

Preference will be given to professors, students, clergy, and seminarians. Nevertheless, anyone who genuinely cannot afford the full tuition and believes himself to be a worthy candidate for assistance may apply.

Accommodations and the Setting

Accommodation and lectures for the Gardone program are at the Locanda agli Angeli and the Hotel Villa Sofia on Lake Garda, in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy. Rooms are mostly doubles, with bath. A limited number of singles is also available. Both hotels are located in Gardone Sopra, a ten-minute walk from the lakefront, where free, clean beaches with a number of amenities can be found. They offer beautiful swimming pools and gardens on their premises. Meals are taken at the Angeli and at other trattorie several minutes walk away. Mass is in the parish church, also within walking distance. Arrangements to arrive earlier or stay later, at additional cost, may be made through the director.

Gardone is within easy traveling distance of Verona, Venice, Trent, Brescia, Milan, Ravenna, Pavia and Padua. In years past, participants have rented cars to tour the area, taken private and more extensive boat trips on the lake, attended the opera in Verona, and even ventured as far away as Florence. The region offers opportunities not only for swimming, but for hiking, biking, boating and scenic walks as well. The lectures are scheduled in such a way as to allow time for recreation and sightseeing.


Transportation to Italy must be arranged privately. Two shuttles (morning and afternoon) to Gardone will be provided from Malpensa on July 1st, and one back to the airport on the morning of July 12th.

Participants arriving and leaving at different times or arriving at and leaving from different airports are responsible for making their own arrangements for getting to Gardone. Gardone can be reached by shuttle  from the Airport to Milano Centrale (50 minutes), train to Brescia (50 minutes), and bus to Gardone Riviera (50 minutes), or by taxi from the airport (which can be very expensive).


Applications can be e-mailed ( or sent by post. First time applicants only must include name, address, telephone number, e-mail, date of birth, occupation, academic degrees attained or pending, and the names and phone numbers of two references. Application should be made as soon as possible as there are only limited places available.


A non-refundable deposit of $500 will secure ones reservation. Once again, space is limited, so it is advisable to send this in as soon as possible after acceptance. Payment of the remaining fee, equivalent to 2,000 Euros as of May 1, 2010, must be made no later than May 15th, 2010. Deposits and all other payments must be made out to the Roman Forum and mailed to Dr. John C. Rao, 11 Carmine St. Apt. 2C, New York, NY 10014.

Final Notes

Seminar participants must eventually send us both their arrival and departure information. It is also important to let us know if you wish to arrive earlier or stay later than the scheduled symposium dates (at extra cost). We would appreciate this information by June 15th, by e-mail. A representative of the Roman Forum will meet participants at their arrival gates. Should the contact person not be found, please look for the bus driver holding a sign saying Molinari Agency, Gardone Riviera. His cell phone number will be sent to you by e-mail just before the departure date. In case of trouble, telephone the Locanda agli Angeli (from the USA, 011-39-0365-20991; from Italy, 0365-20991).

Barring the unpredictable, the weather should be sunny and quite warm/hot. We are in the foothills of the Alps, however, so one may need a sweater or light jacket for dining and sitting outside in the evening. Please also bring a light poncho or some other form of protection from a shower. If you do enjoy swimming and hiking, do not forget a bathing suit and good walking shoes. Tennis courts are available for use nearby. Access to the Internet is available from the Angeli, the Villa Sofia and the caf-restaurant La Taverna (the latter in the main square at Gardone Sopra, two minutes away from the Angeli).

There at ATM machines just outside the Angeli, and at the Banco di Brescia, a short distance away from the Villa Sofia.

Gardones greatest difficulty is laundry. There is no laundromat in the village. Someone does stop by every day to pick up any laundry that needs to be done, to be returned the next day. Under normal circumstances, laundry costs are expensive in Italy. With the dollar-euro exchange what it now is, it may be the greatest expenditure of your trip. There will be a general orientation at cocktail hour on Thursday, July 1st at the Angeli. A schedule of masses, as well as information about the Sunday boat trip and excursions during the week will be handed out at that time.

Contact Information

Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to support clergy, seminarians, and students. Mail all applications and send donations to:

Dr. John C. Rao, Director
The Roman Forum
11 Carmine Street, # 2C
New York, NY 10014
Or e-mail to

January 25, 2010